Closing Thought–07Nov18

Now the fun begins for the next 2 years…….

The ink is barely dry from all the analysis of the midterms….and the blood is already flowing from the Trump White House….could we be seeing the modern update of the “Saturday Night Massacre”?

Jeff Sessions is out as attorney general, report CNN and the AP. President Trump reportedly asked him to resign Wednesday, and Sessions’ resignation letter has been delivered to White House chief of staff John Kelly. “At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in the letter, which was obtained by ABC News. “Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Jusitce every day determined to do my duty and serve my country. I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.”

“We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well,” Trump announced on Twitter, adding, “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.” (Trump hedged when asked about Sessions earlier Wednesday.)

AG Sessions was fired!

Trump is started to try and bring the investigations to an end before it is too late…….

Keep an eye on Don Jr…..I feel he is in the cross hairs…..soon to be rattling the gates of jail.

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Don’t Be Fooled!

Closing Thought–07Nov18

Did your fav candidate win?  Are you looking forward to a new day in DC?  Is the country better off after this Midterm?

Let me answer all questions with one statement.

“Don’t be fooled, flattered or flummoxed by the election.”

Why?

NOTHING will change and we will have nothing but chaos for the next 2 years.

But hey….don’t take my word for it……

Let’s face it. Most politicians use the mass media to obfuscate. Voters who don’t do their homework, who don’t study records of the politicians, and who can’t separate the words from the deeds will easily fall into traps laid by wily politicians.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/06/dont-be-flattered-fooled-and-flummoxed-in-todayss-election/

Whoever said that we Americans get the government we deserve was so damn right…..we deserve the shitty representation that we have now a days…..because we are too busy sucking up slogans and optics and not enough checking the accuracy of the candidates claims.

The American voters are suckers!  They proved it yet again yesterday during the 2018 midterms.

This country can not move forward until the population learns to move forward….as it is now they are stuck in the past and their voting habits prove it.

“Making America Great Again”–Part 11

First let me say that the slogan is moronic….America has always been great so there is no need for the stupidity around the slogan.

So far in this series we have learned about the years before and during the revolution ….then we went through our convention and onto our first president and then our second leader, John Adams……Part 11 touches on the president that every one thinks they know all about, Thomas Jefferson….

The president that few have any idea about his make up only the bullshit fed them by reactionary historians….few instance….Jefferson disliked the miracles and stuff in the New Testament and because of that he made his own…..

Thomas Jefferson, together with several of his fellow founding fathers, was influenced by the principles of deism, a construct that envisioned a supreme being as a sort of watchmaker who had created the world but no longer intervened directly in daily life. A product of the Age of Enlightenment, Jefferson was keenly interested in science and the perplexing theological questions it raised. Although the author of the Declaration of Independence was one of the great champions of religious freedom, his belief system was sufficiently out of the mainstream that opponents in the 1800 presidential election labeled him a “howling Atheist.”
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-thomas-jefferson-created-his-own-bible-5659505/
Just one of the many things that most people do not know about our third president….
Maj. Sjursen’s Part 11 of his series talks about the 8 years of the Jefferson presidency……read and learn……
Part 11 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

“The ‘revolution of 1800’ … was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of [17]76 was in its form; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people.” —Thomas Jefferson in an 1819 letter to Judge Spencer Roane

We tend today, in our hyperpartisan moment, to imagine that politics have never been worse, more tribal, more contentious than they are now. But is that true? The United States was born of revolution, fought a bloody civil war and has changed time and again throughout its history. And, in 1800, the nascent republic would experience its first-ever electoral transition to a president of the opposing party. That election and its aftermath would have profound implications for the young republic and ensure some degree of Jeffersonian legacy for generations to come. Jefferson’s words—the output of his pen—were often beautiful, but some darkness lurked beneath the surface of his self-proclaimed republican, agrarian utopia.

 

Suspicious Death In Mali

I have a loyal reader from Brazil and I was searching the new for some story on the new government that is taking control….and I was diverted by an American story that did not make our news.

Over a year ago I wrote a couple of posts about the death of US Army Green Beret at the hands of a couple SEALs in deployment in the West African country of Mali……https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/death-of-a-green-beret/  (please read the previous posts for more detail)

There has been very little about this investigation into the death of the Green Beret…..and thanx to the midterms it would go unnoticed but fortunately I found the story while reading a Brazilian newspaper……

Seventeen months after a Green Beret died in unusual circumstances in Mali, the U.S. Department of Defense is no closer to disclosing the circumstances of his death or whether charges should be laid against any individual or individuals.

Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was killed at a house he shared with two U.S. Navy SEALS and two Marine Raiders, who were part of the same small joint special operations unit attached to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, the Mali capital.

oth the SEALs, Petty Officer Antony DeDolph and Chief Petty Officer Adam Cranston Matthews gave investigators conflicting stories as to what had happened leading up to the time of Melgar’s death, the circumstances and the cause. Their stories also kept changing. Initially they took Melgar to a medical clinic and told staff there they had found him in the condition he was in, and that DeDolph, a martial arts expert, had tried to revive him by doing an emergency tracheotomy.

Subsequently the pair said DeDolph had been sparring with Melgar in a late night, drunken incident, he accidently choked the soldier. The problem with story is that Melgar didn’t drink. The Medical Examiner found no traces of alcohol or drugs in his body.

https://www.brazilsun.com/news/258265488/admiral-to-rule-whether-seals-to-be-charged-over-mali-death

It is a shame that all the midterm speculation was far more important than the death of an American soldier….a needless death…..

It was also reported in an Argentine newspaper as well…..but not so much here where the man lived.

IST hopes that the family gets the answers they deserve and not some PR BS to save face……

Space: Up Up And Away

The Midterms are in the history books….shall we move on?

And now for something completely different…..SPACE….the Final Frontier!

Our Dear Leader is concerned with a new branch to the military….a “Space Force” if you will……he is serious from all accounts…..so since Trumpy is so damn serious I thought that IST would keep an eye on the news involved with space…..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/03/space-and-space-rangers/

Maybe one of the first deployments for our new Space Force could be Mars……

A study funded by NASA in a bid to determine what effects a journey into deep space might have on the health of astronauts has uncovered some startling possibilities for those brave souls who might one day venture to Mars. Per CNN, the findings out of Georgetown University Medical Center suggest that the sort of radiation to which such travelers would be exposed has the potential to cause major intestinal issues, including cancer. It’s called galactic cosmic radiation, or GCR, and consists of so-called heavy ions that we’re protected from by the magnetosphere that surrounds Earth. Deep in space, as well as on Mars, there is no such protection and scientists say there is no way yet known to prevent exposure with shielding or medications.

Per Inverse, the study bombarded mice with doses of ionizing radiation that mimicked what’s found in deep space. Researchers found that long exposure permanently altered the gastrointestinal tracts of the mice in a way that caused them to lose their ability to absorb nutrients. What’s more, the mice also developed cancerous growths in their intestines, leading researchers to further worry about the effects of space radiation after previous findings suggested it poses a danger to the brain. “We have documented the effects of deep space radiation on some vital organs, but we believe that similar damage responses may occur in many organs,” wrote senior investigator Kamal Datta. “It is important to understand these effects in advance so we can do everything we can to protect our future space travelers.”

After the “Force” is up and running well there will be those mysteries that need investigating……

Scientists call it The Goblin—a far-off dwarf planet that’s adding to evidence of a mystery planet way, way out there. First seen in October 2015, the icy world seems to be orbiting something big in a distant region of the solar system called the Oort Cloud, Space.com reports. A team led by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, spent three years tracking the dwarf planet’s astounding orbit, which reaches a point nearly 60 times further from the sun than Pluto and takes 40,000 years to complete, per the Guardian. Two other dwarf planets are orbiting the same area, suggesting some huge unseen object is out there in a region NASA describes as “a thick bubble of icy debris that surrounds our solar system.”

“These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X,” says Sheppard in a statement, referring to a hypothetical planet he first proposed with a colleague in 2014 to explain orbits of other Oort Cloud dwarf planets called Sedna and 2012 VP113, per Space.com. Also known as Planet Nine, this possible world could be hovering on the edge of our solar system or existing entirely outside it, ejected long ago. Sheppard says he plans to further investigate by seeking more evidence of distant dwarf planets—worlds too small to be called full-sized planets. “The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits—a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system’s evolution,” he says.

How will the US handle its adversaries in Space?  Good question, huh?

As the Pentagon moves to stand up a U.S. Space Command and Congress debates whether it makes sense to create a Space Force, a central focus is to defend satellites from orbital weapons that would seek to damage or destroy U.S. assets in space.

Washington policymakers are gripped by the prospect of enemies shooting missiles or lasers at U.S. systems. But that is only a small piece of the puzzle, says Jeffrey Gossel, senior intelligence engineer at the Space and Missile Analysis Group of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

https://spacenews.com/the-next-battleground-what-do-we-really-know-about-what-adversaries-do-in-space/

The Pentagon is taking Trump seriously and has looked into the composition of the new “Space Force”…..

The U.S. Space Force will include uniformed service members drawn from the Air Force, Navy and Army — but it is not expected to include the National Reconnaissance Office mission, according an internal draft of the Pentagon’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military.

Defense One reviewed a copy of the 13-page document, which will be further developed in coming months before the Pentagon sends it to Congress in February along with its 2020 budget request. This early draft provides a glimpse into a 21st-century approach to creating a new service branch, an endeavor not undertaken since 1947. Among other things, it reveals divergent views among senior Pentagon officials about how to structure it.

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2018/10/heres-pentagons-initial-plan-creating-space-force/152203/

Acting on behalf of the president the GOP controlled House Armed Services Committee is also taking the president serious in his desire for a “Space Force”…….

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to provide more precise details on how it would organize and fund a new military service for space. In an Oct. 4 letter, Chairman Mac Thornberry asks Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva to deliver the data by Nov. 16.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews, the committee lays out four different ways in which a Space Force could be formed. Thornberry says he wants additional information before the committee endorses any one approach.

The committee will explore four options:

https://spacenews.com/house-armed-services-committee-exploring-several-paths-to-a-space-force/

Since nukes seem to be in the news these….I ask….will the US deploy them into space with our Space Force?

Vice President Mike Pence said that the US has flexibility on its military activities in outer space, and refused to rule out the idea that the US would position nuclear weapons there in the future, saying it would “advance the principle that peace comes through strength.”

Pence further said that the question of nuclear weapons is “the president’s determination,” and that while it’s in the interest of every nation to keep nukes out of space for now, at some point this may prove to be an way to show more “strength.”

(antiwar.com)

But first Trump or whoever would have to withdraw from a treaty, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty……The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, of which the United States is a signatory, strictly forbids the positioning of nuclear weapons anywhere in outer space. With the Trump Administration’s rush to militarize space….check out Article IV…..https://www.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm  The pdf seems to be unavailable (so I guess you cannot get everything from the web)

No problem!  Trump has pulled out of most of our nuke treaties first with Iran then the INF Treaty…so no biggie he can just do what he does best…screw things up.

I may be one of the few bloggers that is focused on this new military branch, the Space Force…..I will keep my readers up on all the twists and turns of this situation…it should prove interesting.

Will the US get another “Branch” of our armed services?  Or will this just be another pipe dream that falls way short?  What service will we lose to pay for this pipe dream?

Just asking.

Afghanistan–And The War Goes On And On

I shall attempt to move beyond the vote yesterday…..

The war has been pushed way back by the Midterms…..there is more stories about election posturing than there is about a War and Afghanistan…..

IST refuses to ignore the war in the room…17 years counting and Americans keep dying…..

You know this war is getting ugly when the home of Neocon thinking is calling for an end to it……

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: American forces are still fighting in Afghanistan, it’s been 17 years since we first sent troops there to topple the Taliban government. We still have thousands of Americans in the country.

So far this year, eight of them have been killed. President Trump hates this. We happened to know, he has often complained to people around him about the quagmire that Afghanistan has become.

You remember that when he ran for President, one of Trump’s central promises was to keep America out of pointless foreign wars like this one. Washington despised him for saying that because it implicated them and their failures, but voters appreciated hearing it. And yet somehow the war in Afghanistan has continued to this day fruitlessly. That’s thanks almost entirely to bullying from our thoroughly discredited foreign policy establishment. They are happy to keep things the way they are.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/10/31/tucker_carlson_time_for_trump_to_end_afghanistan_war_keep_campaign_promise.html

Finally people are starting to ask the question that many of us have been asking for years……how did Afghanistan become a war without end?

The war in Afghanistan hit the seventeen-year mark for the United States and its partners this month. Soldiers in the US-led coalition have been fighting and killing and dying for almost eight years longer than the Soviets occupied Afghanistan. The reasons for this protracted stalemate are manifold, but the momentum that would bring the war in Afghanistan to an end remains elusive in large part because the coalition has until now been unable to link the grammar of war to the political object it seeks. For the logic of strategy to work, ends should drive means, not the other way around. The value of the political object, or the worth of the ends sought, determines how long and what costs the United States should be willing to pay. In Afghanistan, if those political goals are articulated clearly, their worth should relate directly to the will of the US polity to persevere in the war to a successful end.

https://mwi.usma.edu/afghanistan-become-war-without-end/

After $900 million and 2000+ lives lost and we keep staying for some reason……and spending cash and losing lives….why?

A new report is out from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR)—the government’s watchdog for the war—and its findings paint an ugly picture: despite billions spent and thousands of U.S. lives lost, Afghanistan is facing worsening violence and instability.

SIGAR’s quarterly report to Congress—its 40st since the conflict began—found that the U.S.-backed Afghan government controls or influences just 56 percent of the administrative districts in the country, down from 72 percent in 2015. By comparison, some 14 percent of districts are now controlled or influenced by insurgent forces, and another 30 percent are rated “contested.”

https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/01/despite-900-billion-spent-and-2400-us-li

The American general has announced that there will be a new push in Afghanistan…..question?  WHY?

American keep dying for NOTHING….so why does it contiue?

It wasn’t until history class in college that I heard of the Thirty Years War. My immediate reaction was: No way! It just wasn’t possible that a war could last 30 years. Nobody would be that dumb.

But given that the U.S. war in Afghanistan has now been going on for 17 years, it’s now easier for me to understand how a war could go on for 30 years. Just think: Another 13 years, and the U.S. government can tie that record.

Over the past weekend, another U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan and another was wounded in what the media calls an “insider attack.” That means that a member of the Afghan military or police was the one who killed and wounded those two soldiers. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is rather difficult to protect against an attack from your friends.

That was the sixth U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan this year, bringing the total death toll to 2,200.

https://www.fff.org/2018/09/04/still-dying-for-nothing-in-afghanistan/

When we hear about Afghanistan these days it seems to always be something positive,,,,any negativity is omitted by the media….negativity like this news….

Taliban forces launched nine separate substantial attacks in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, killing at least 59 security forces nationwide and overrunning several bases and outposts in different parts of the country.

Attacks were reported as far north as Kunduz, and as far south as Kandahar. The biggest attack was in the far west, along the Iranian border in Farah, where Taliban overran a border post, killing 20 soldiers and capturing as many as 25.

The Taliban confirmed that the Farah base was not only seized, but that they were able to seize substantial numbers of weapons and equipment at the site as well. Only a handful of the border patrol were able to escape the attack.

Taliban forces seized posts in Ghazni, Kandahar, and in other areas. Afghan officials are unusually quiet about the fighting, and it’s not clear where the defense ministry will give priority for reinforcements.If recent events are any indication, they will only be able to reinforce a handful of the targeted areas.

(antiwar.com)

Not the news they want the people to hear…it appears nothing is going well…..

Finally someone concurs with me and others……Afghanistan is insanity…..

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry returned from a trip to Afghanistan and proclaimed, “reconciliation can lead to a representative political solution and a sustainable U.S. presence in Afghanistan . . . [because that] is the only way we can reliably defend America from the dangerous terrorist organizations that continue to operate in Afghanistan.” If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s just more of the same old Washington groupthink: “stay the course.” But we’ve been staying the course now for over seventeen years with no end in sight. This is the very essence of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

To begin, while it would certainly be preferable to have a representative, multiethnic, democratic government in Afghanistan, that is not essential to American interests. Ultimately, U.S. national security is served as long as whatever government controls Afghanistan understands that the United States will not tolerate support for or the harboring of any terrorist group with global reach that directly threatens the United States. Al Qaeda and ISIS are terrorist threats in Afghanistan, but neither represents a direct, existential threat to the American homeland.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/staying-afghanistan-definition-insanity-34247

Finally I read a piece that talks about the perils of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan…..

Recent events in Afghanistan have reenergized those in favor of a U.S. military withdrawal. “Let someone else take up the burden,” urged one opinion piece in Slate. Another in the UK-based Guardian newspaper bluntly noted: “It’s time for America to end its war in Afghanistan.” Some media reports have also suggested that U.S. negotiators in Doha, Qatar have agreed to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as part of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

Yet without a political settlement, which is still a longshot, a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan would have serious risks. Chief among them would be the resurgence of terrorism and the deterioration of human rights—including women’s rights—that come with a Taliban victory.

https://defense360.csis.org/the-u-s-strategy-in-afghanistan-the-perils-of-withdrawal/

I do need agree with the solution put forth in above article…..it would be easier and less expense and deadly to declare a victory and bring the troops home……but that is too simple for the complex minds in the Pentagon…..after all they are being paid by the taxpayer and the M-IC….good work if you can stomach it.

2018 Midterms Are Over!

I was gonna do this whole breakdown of the races from yesterday and the winners ….but instead why don’t you go to the media that you think has the best news and let them tell you what you want to hear……instead I want to touch on what the important stuff….the different houses of Congress…..

First the Senate……

Republicans will keep control of the Senate for at least another two years—both CNN and the AP have called it. The GOP went into Tuesday’s midterms with a 51-49 advantage, and the party appears to be on track to actually increase that margin. The bad news began early for Democrats when they lost a key race in Indiana: GOP businessman Mike Braun defeated incumbent Joe Donnelly, who had been seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats, reports ABC News. Democrats also lost another seat in North Dakota and failed to flip a vulnerable one in Tennessee. Meanwhile, the GOP’s Ted Cruz won in Texas, while the race in Florida was too close to call. Notable if unsurprising winners elsewhere included Republican Mitt Romney in Utah and Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine in Virginia.

More details:

  • Missouri. Republican Josh Hawley defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill by a 55-42 margin, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
  • Tennessee: Republican Marsha Blackburn will keep the seat in GOP hands. She defeated Democrat Phil Bredesen to replace the retiring Bob Corker, a Republican, reports the Hill.
  • Florida: Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson vs. Republican Rick Scott. This is shaping up to be a nail-biter based on partial returns.
  • North Dakota: Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost her seat to Republican challenger Kevin Cramer.
  • New Jersey: Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez defeated Republican Bob Hugin, per the AP.
  • West Virginia: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin defeated Republican Patrick Morrisey, reports CNN.

A number of other closely watched races were still outstanding, including Arizona, Montana, and Nevada.

Now the House….this is where most thought in-roads could be made…..and it seems there were…..

It wasn’t exactly a blue tsunami, but Democrats were on course to regain control of the House for the first time since 2010 early Wednesday after flipping more than the necessary 23 seats and closing in on the 218 needed for a majority. “Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, per the Washington Post. Pelosi, who is expected to seek to return to her role as House speaker, said the victory “is about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.” She promised to “drain the swamp” and strive for accountability and bipartisanship.

President Trump called Pelosi late Tuesday to congratulate her on the Democratic victory, although press secretary Sarah Sanders had earlier suggested he wouldn’t, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Trump called Pelosi at 11:45pm “to extend his congratulations on winning a Democratic House Majority,” tweeted Drew Hamill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff. “He acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks.” The AP reports that the Democratic road to victory involved flipping seats in Rust Belt states and suburban districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Redistricting helped the party score some big wins in Pennsylvania, where at least three red seats flipped to blue.

That “Blue Tsunami” was a fart in the bath tub….but Hell don’t believe me……Read more Election 2018 stories.

What does this all mean?

New faces for the group photos.  Beyond that a finger in the eye of the American public.

I guess there are a few things that it means……..

Well the GOP keeps the power to confirm worthless judges and the House will be on Trump’s back on many issues….but they need to not look like it is revenge but rather the search for answers…..and there are many answers that are needed.

Final word…..if you expect something different then you shall go to bed with tears in your eyes…..governing will lack….everyone can spin the successes.

Now I shall leave the 2018 elections behind and return to a world on the brink.

Peace Out!